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Snow Day

Novice, Snow Bunny or Double-Diamond Junkie, Your Ski-Dream Destination Awaits

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of skiing, and there’s no better authority on the subject than Jonathan Southworth and Chris Andersen of Loveland’s own Vertical Drop. The shop is always stocked with the latest amazing gear, and they boast a seriously solid repair shop—they know their product, and they know first-hand what will fit you best, no matter your ability or speed.

Originally from Beavercreek, Jon grew up skiing—racing on the Ohio State ski team and later in upstate New York for the Cleveland Metro ski club. Born in Calgary, Alberta, Chris began skiing at the tender age of 2 (but has been a Loveland local since he was 10). He’s a highly experienced snowboarder to boot.

As our thoughts turn to beautiful, snowy winter, we asked them to share a few of their favorite ski destinations.


West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain is only about six hours away (“Upwards of eight, with weather difficulties,” Chris warns). It’s still a great choice, especially for those of us in the Cincinnati area. Snowshoe Mountain is also a family-friendly destination, featuring a lot more than snow—including indoor/outdoor heated pools and a waterpark. Chris notes their quaint village square, packed with plenty of restaurants, bars, spas, shopping for après ski, and of course, the multitude of ski runs. Not to lose sight of the reason we’re here, “We can’t forget to mention the Western Territory—over a mile long, full of black diamond and double-black diamond runs!”


Aspen is known for its wealth of great ski destinations, and it should come as no surprise that Chris has some insight here, too. “Snowmass is the best all-around skiing of the four mountains in the valley,” he says. “If you get some heavy snow while you’re there, I highly recommend heading over to Aspen Highlands. Hop onto the snowcat, and then start hiking up the ridgeline to the top of the bowl.” What awaits us there? “A taste of what waist-deep powder feels like!” he laughs.


Thankfully, Chris also has a ski resort tip for globetrotters seeking thrills in the snow—and this one takes us all the way to France. “Chamonix is the epicenter of alpine skiing,” he assures us. It’s also known for being the home of the highest peak in the Alps. “Anyone who loves skiing knows the name Chamonix for a reason.” Ready to pack your ski bag, grab your passport, and enjoy this Mont-Blanc beauty? Oui, s'il vous plaît!

  • Photograph by Matt Power
  • Photograph by Scott Markewitz
  • Photograph by Scott Markewitz
  • Photograph by Jeremy Swanson
  • Photograph by Frank Shine

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